Chitwan, Dhading named focal points for poultryLocal poultry entrepreneurs are thrilled that the budget statement for the next fiscal year has identified Chitwan and Dhading as pocket districts for poultry production, but they are sceptical about the implementation part.
Local poultry entrepreneurs are thrilled that the budget statement for the next fiscal year has identified Chitwan and Dhading as pocket districts for poultry production, but they are sceptical about the implementation part.
The government has planned to develop these two districts as focal points for the poultry industry. Chicken farmers and traders have urged the government to implement its pledge.
Poultry expert Tilchandra Bhattarai said the government should ensure that the minimum facilities are provided to the poultry sector in the two districts.
“These districts should be adequately equipped to assist poultry businesses in other districts too,” said Bhattarai.
Infrastructure needs to be developed and a laboratory should be set up, he added.
Chitwan and Dhading districts are the largest producers of poultry products in the country. Out of the estimated Rs70 billion investment in the industry, half has been made in Chitwan. The industry provides direct employment to 100,000 people in the district.
Poultry entrepreneurs, however, are sceptical about the government carrying out the programme announced in the the budget statement. “Declaring pocket areas is not everything, the government should now focus on implementing its promises,” said Shankar Kandel, president of the Nepal Poultry Entrepreneurs’ Forum.
He added that the government would need to address
problems like shortage of land and outbreaks of diseases like bird flu which have hit small producers in particular.
The government has talked about achieving self-sufficiency in egg production by the end of the next fiscal year.
Shiva Ram KC, president of the Egg Producers’ Association, urged the government to effectively spend the funds that have been allocated for the purpose.
He complained that the government had failed to address the issue of middlemen that had been affecting the distribution of poultry products.
Meanwhile, farmers have asked the government to fix poultry prices, provide subsidised bank loans and waive the import duty on materials needed by the industry.
Mohan Dutta Sapkota, a farmer from Chitwan, said the government had to devise policy to address the issues.
According to an estimate of the Nepal Poultry Entrepreneurs’ Forum, there are 450 poultry firms, 96 animal feed producers, 184 hatcheries, 4,500 fresh houses and nine processing plants operating across the country.